Hinojosa powers Longhorns behind late, three-run homer

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Junior shortstop C.J Hinojosa’s three-run blast in the eighth inning capped a Texas come-back at Texas State. Texas trailed by two at the time of his homer.
Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

SAN MARCOS — The Longhorns were down and out against Texas State until junior shortstop C.J Hinojosa hit a three-run blast in the eighth inning.

Hinojosa’s game-winning home run was the spark No. 10 Texas (17–8, 5–1 Big 12) needed to take down the Bobcats, 6–4.

“I have the same approach [at the plate:] just go up there and just try to square the ball up and hit it hard.” Hinojosa said. “Luckily, this one went over the fence. It felt amazing. It brought back memories from Omaha. But it was fun. It was what we need at the time.”

Before the Longhorns took the lead, Texas was struggling at the plate early in the game in front of a record-setting sellout Texas State crowd of 2,653.

“We weren’t as competitive or disciplined as I would like them to be,” head coach Augie Garrido said. “We were disciplined over the weekend, but we can’t just flip that switch. If you’re going to get better from something, you have to learn something from last Tuesday and apply it to this Tuesday.”

Texas State’s starting pitcher, freshman Montana
Parsons, was lights out Tuesday night. Parsons, a right-handed pitcher from The Woodlands, Texas, threw more than 100 pitches in the mid-week game. Parsons struck out six Longhorns and only allowed two runs in seven innings
of work.

“[Parsons] threw strikes,” Garrido said. “He got ahead in the count and threw his breaking ball and fastball well. What I saw is he was fearless. He pitched without any fear of the hitters.”

While the Bobcats were finding success on the mound, Texas sophomore pitcher Josh Sawyer struggled in his first mid-week start of the season. 

On his second pitch of the game, Sawyer gave up a home run. Sawyer followed up the homer by hitting a batter and gave up an RBI double.  

The Longhorns trailed 2–0 after one inning.

Texas’ offense wasn’t able to do much until the third inning when sophomore center fielder Zane Gurwitz scored the first run of game. Gurwitz ripped a ball off the center-field wall that the fielder failed to catch. Gurwitz raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.

“[Hitting an inside-the-park home run] was awesome,” Gurwitz said. “Ben Johnson did it earlier this year, so I just had to show him up a little bit.”

The Bobcats responded in the fourth with an RBI single to push their lead to 3–1.

Both teams traded home runs in the fifth inning. Texas freshman catcher Michael Cantu hit a bomb to center field for his first collegiate home run. The Bobcats sophomore outfielder Granger Studdard ripped a ball into the parking lot outside of right field.

After that, the two teams went cold at the plate until Gurwitz got the rally started with a triple in the eighth when the Longhorns were trailing by two. 

Junior outfielder Ben Johnson then earned a walk to set the stage for Hinojosa, who hit the go-ahead three-run home run. The Longhorns added an insurance run in the ninth to push their lead to 6–4 before closing it out behind the arm of senior pitcher Kirby Bellow. Junior pitcher Ty Culbreth picked up the win in relief.

Texas travels to Lincoln, Nebraska, for a three-game series against Nebraska. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Friday.